Friday, March 6, 2009

Pope Benedict's Message for Vocations Sunday 2009

Pope Benedict has issued his annual message for the 46th world day of prayer for vocations. This year Vocations Sunday is May 3rd. The full text of the message can be downloaded here. The theme of the message this year is Faith in the Divine Initiative - the Human Response. As always, the Pope's message is theologically and scripturally profound.

I was particularly taken by the section of the message on 'who is worthy' to be either a priest or religious. We all recognise that in fact none of us really are worthy but yet as part of the divine plan, the Lord calls us to co-operate with Him. Here, Pope Benedict states that 'once again it is useful to reiterate that the respose of men and women to the divine call, whenever they are aware that it is God who takes the initiative and brings His plan of salvation to fulfillment, is never patterned after the timid self interest of the worthless servant who, out of fear, hid the talent entrusted to him in the ground (cf Matt 25:14-30), but rather expresses itself in a ready adherence to the Lord's invitation, as in the case of Peter who, trusting in the Lord's word did not hesitate to let down the net once more after having toiled all night and catching nothing (cf Luke 5:5). Without in any sense renouncing personal responsibility, the free human response to God thus becomes 'co-responsibility', responsibility with and in Christ, through the action of the Holy Spirit; it becomes communion with the One who makes it possible for us to bear much fruit (cf John 15:5)'.

(The text of Pope Benedict's message for Vocations Sunday is taken from the website of the association of diocesan vocation directors in Ireland and they can be visited at

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